This week-ed was the 2021 Gardening with the Masters event featuring Knew Point which has been a labor of love for owner and master gardener Bruce Gouin for more than 30 years. Here are highlights of my visit to this spectacular home. I was welcomed to climb the stairway to the ocean view deck and visit one of the highest points along coastal Rhode Island.
Informed By Glaciers
Knew Point is the “Summit” of Rhode Island’s recessional moraine, which places the property’s gardens 100 vertical feet below the home. Recessional moraines form during short-lived phases of glacier advance. The land at Knew Point had neither fertile soil nor any flat area when Gouin purchased the land. Oaks, mountain laurel, gravel, and glacial boulders covered the hillside, which made creating sustainable gardens a challenge.
Over the years, Gouin, a top rated dentist by day and founder of Arrowhead Dental Associates in Charlestown, RI, dug terraces out of the hillside to create planting beds, water features, and a welcoming lawn. A hundred-step stairway carved into the hillside leads down through the mountain laurel and other native vegetation adapted to the dry, sandy soil.
240 Above Sea Level
Knew Point was used by the U.S. Geodetic Survey Department in the 1940’s to map the coastal areas. Three markers were placed in boulders and remain on the site today. Despite significant effort, Gouin has never been able to find out why it was called Knew Point. If you have any knowledge of the history of Knew Point, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-460-1157. I would love to learn more about this special South County location so I can share these insights with the family.
Gardening with the Masters program will repeat again September 25th and 26th. You can get your name on the waiting list for tickets here. I highly recommend this event if you love seeing beautiful gardens, fountains and spectacular South County views of Block Island Sound and our salt ponds.
Charlestown, Rhode Island